The Godparent…capital G

It hasn’t been my intention to write a blog like the one below but bear with me on this one. It’s just some ponderings on recent events and thankfulness for some special people in my life.

G baby

A few months after I was born I was christened in the Anglican Church.  My parents chose 3 Godparents, as is customary for a daughter, one Godfather and two Godmothers.

          For every child to be baptized there shall be not           fewer than three godparents, of whom at least           two shall be of the same sex as the child and             of whom at least one shall be of the opposite             sex…The godparents shall be persons who have           been baptized and confirmed and will faithfully           fulfil their responsibilities both by their care for           the child committed to their charge and by the           example of their own godly living. (Church of              England Book of Common Prayer, 1662)

My Godfather didn’t play much of an active role in my life but my two Godmothers were amazing.  Both Claire and Jackie knew and lived for Jesus, were active in their local churches and I know prayed for me regularly.

Although I didn’t live near these ladies, Claire lived in Wales and Jackie in Scotland, they were actively involved in my life.  As a child this meant remembering me at Christmas and birthdays and as I got older, it was in the regular letters and occasional phone calls supporting and encouraging me.  I know I’ll never fully know the power of their prayers for me.  These women took their God-parenting role seriously, capital G!

Here’s a short excerpt of the baptism/christening service from the C of E book of Common Worship: Baptism and Confirmation, 2000:

  Parents and godparents, the Church receives these children with joy.
          Today we are trusting God for their growth in faith.
          Will you pray for them, 
          draw them by your example into the community of faith 
          and walk with them in the way of Christ?
          With the help of God, we will.
          In baptism these children begin their journey in faith.

          You speak for them today.
          Will you care for them,
          and help them to take their place
          within the life and worship of Christ’s Church?
          With the help of God, we will.

For many I think the act of christening your child is just a tradition or perhaps a superstition. For example one lady I worked with once told me that she had her children christened so that they had a name in heaven (?!). No idea where she got that from.  For others it’s a promise before God and others to live their lives as parents and Godparents in a way that shows Jesus to the child.  We haven’t christened/baptised Miriam as we believe this is something she should decide herself when she is old enough to understand the wonder of full-immersion baptism in response to her own personal commitment of faith in Jesus.  However, we have publically dedicated her to Jesus, promising to raise her as the Bible instructs us, love and pray for her.  Mim also has four wonderful Godparents, capital G!  Men and women who love Jesus, are involved in their churches and whose lives are living examples of how imperfect they are yet how perfect Jesus is.

I have been so blessed by two wonderful women, who 30 years ago promised to pray for me, be an example of those who are in God’s community, walked with me in Jesus’ footsteps, cared for me and encouraged me to find my place in Jesus’ beautiful bride, the Church.  I can safely say that although they weren’t perfect, they took this promise seriously, lived their lives for their God and were huge examples to me in their lives and in their deaths.

About two weeks ago Jackie went to enjoy eternity with her Saviour, joining Claire who passed away while I was at university.  What a grace to know that I will see them again.

Thanks ladies.  Enjoy eternity and I’ll be seeing you!

 

A Week of Firsts

Image

Here we are, we’re in Lille.  I actually live in France now! HECTOR!

This week has been a week of firsts, some good and some-not-so-good.  Let’s start with the not so good and end with the good stuff.

The not-so-good Firsts:

  • First altercation with a neighbour about parking on our road.  This consisted of her talking/moaning and me nodding not really knowing what she was going on about.  Seriously people there’s A LOT more to life than where you can/can’t park
  • First fall down our stairs – unfortunately I was carrying Mim at the time.  Neither of us was seriously hurt although I do have a bruise the size of a grapefruit and the colour of an aubergine on my right hip…Merde! (you’re allowed to say that word in France…it’s not as naughty as the literal translation….honest)
  • First cold of the year!  Would you Adam and Eve it?!  Rog and I are pretty healthy-tastic but literally 24 hours in we both come down with stonking colds.  Thankfully I stocked up on Paracetamol which are ridiculously expensvio here (please send more!)
  • First argument with our internet provider (Rog not me, my words would consist of “vous êtes stupide n’est pas?” and that would be it).  Like all such companies they promise to set up quickly and don’t, they promise to call back and don’t.  Frustrating but perhaps helpful I’m not seeing everyone back in Canters having fun

The Good Firsts:

  • First time introducing myself, yes that’s right I walked right up to my neighbour and introduced myself all on my lonesome.  I quickly ran out of things to say (about 10 seconds in), said an awkward “au revoir” and scuttled inside but she was still smiling when I left, probably thinking to herself “what waz zat all about, zees crazy English?” (nb. Not same lady as parking lady above)
  • First conversation with another sweet neighbour who very kindly sorted out the parking (yes it really does seem to be an issue on this street) and I’m pretty sure I understood most of what she said.  She hasn’t been over yet to tell me I’m parked in the wrong place anyway
  • First drop off of lovely friend to the Eurostar station in the middle of Lille, hopefully the first of many. This was preceded by first drive around the centre of Lille trying to find the station again as I missed all the drop off points, and then again…managed it the third time!
  • First drive into town just me and Mim, I didn’t get lost or hit anyone or anything else, yay.  We parked up and hurried along to the British library to try and make some friends only to find it didn’t open for another 2 hours, this was a blessing in disguise as I’d missed the parking meter and not paid for parking…Whoopsy! Thankfully not first parking ticket (yet!)
  • First trip to the supermarket and first go at using the snazzy bleeper thingys they have.  It’s a bit like doing your wedding list bleeping in Debenhams only in the supermarket and you can do it every time you shop!
  • First Blog!

Well there we go.  I could have gone into more detail, first meal, first sleep, first dream, first use of the toilet…too far?  You may think the above is dull but there ya go, life is what it is.

The Holy bit

Every now and then this week I’ve thought of what I’d be doing in the UK knowing that being a bit bored I could easily call someone, go to a park with Mim, join my small group on Thursday eve, visit special friends and their new born, go to my favourite coffee shop etc.  The emotions start running high when I think of the family and friends we’ve left in the UK and making friends with a language barrier seems almost impossible.  Mercifully I have a good friend who speaks to me through His word, the Bible, and he said this to me this week:

Jeremiah 32: v 27 “I am the Lord, is anything too hard for me?” v 41 “I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul”